My original post on this blog, You Can Leave the Church, but the Church Can't Leave You Alone, caused some offense among some Mormon readers. My goal in writing it wasn't to cause irritation, but rather to give Mormons some insight as to how we Post Mormons, Ex-Mormons, Former Mormons and Doubting Mormons feel.
Basically, I want my Mormon family, friends and neighbors to respect my boundaries. It seems like such a one way street in favor of Mormons. They can post Mormon quotes and information all day long on Facebook, but when we post something related to our current beliefs, even if it's relatively innocent, it's common for them to jump all over us and make horrible accusations. Our family can call us Sons of Perdition and tell us that we're deceived by Satan, and we're somehow supposed to not be offended.
A friend of mine, who means well, but is clueless, gave me a nice Christmas gift a few days ago; a copy of the new Teachings of the Presidents of the Church manual, featuring the teachings of Ezra Taft Benson. When he gave it to me, he told me he had prayed about it and he feels impressed to tell me that I should read, study and apply Lesson No. 18; Beware of Pride.
I inwardly rolled my eyes when he gave it to me, but I accepted it politely. No doubt he thinks he's doing a good thing that could help me; however, if I went over to his house and gave him signed copy of What to do When Satan has Deceived You and You've Become a Mormon and suggested he read Chapter No. 3; Start Using the Brain Nature (or God) Gave You, I think the poop would hit the fan and he would be greatly offended.
How is that any different from what he did? Or what our Mormon friends do to us on a regular basis? Ironically, he accuses me of being prideful, yet he's the one knocking on my door to tell me what I should think. Apparently he has it all figured out.
I would like boundaries to be respected, and I'm willing to respect Mormon boundaries in return. To that end, I have created a list of New Years resolutions, that I promise to follow if Mormons will start respecting boundaries.
1- I promise not to invite my children's friends over to watch The Godmakers on my big screen TV, nor will I serve refreshments when doing so.
2- I promise not to hire Grant Palmer to provide the entertainment at my daughter's next birthday party, even though it would be awesome.
3- At next year's Trunk or Treat event, I promise not to attend dressed up as Joseph Smith, with my wife costumed as Emma, and my young daughter dressed as "not quite 15 year-old" Fanny Alger, nor will I have my son put on a wig and a dress just so I can add a very masculine Helen Mar Kimball to my entourage.
4- I promise not to make and distribute Post-Mormon Pass Along cards.
5- I promise not to place Mormon Think decals on the sides of my son's Pinewood Derby car.
6- If invited to a Church dinner, I promise I will not assume it's BYOB.
7- If you come to my house for dinner, I promise I won't spike the gravy with Dr. Pepper.
8- I promise I won't visit the Church parking lot during Sacrament Meeting and place Gay Pride bumper stickers on all the cars.
9- I promise not to dine and dash on the missionaries when I take them out to dinner.
10- I promise not to put Ex-Lax in to the chocolate chip cookies I donate to the Young Women's bake sale.
11- When being introduced to a Mormon couple for the first time, I promise not to ask the husband what number wife she is.
12- I promise I will not respond to questions from Mormons by quoting anything from the temple ceremony.
13- I promise not to offer sarcastic condolences when a Mormon woman gives birth to a girl.
14- When I bump into Mormons buying beer at the convenience store, I promise that I'll pretend not to notice, instead of trying to high-five them while saying loudly, "Dude, where's the party?"
15- I promise not to bow and address the Bishop as "Your Eminence" when I bump into him at the grocery store.
16- I promise not to attach a copy of Letter to a CES Director to the ward bulletin board when nobody is looking.
17- I promise I won't worship any graven images of Donny Osmond.
18- I promise I won't send proxy resignation letters to Church headquarters on behalf of my Mormon acquaintances.
19- I promise that I won't bribe a Priest to spike the sacrament water with Viagra.
20- I promise not to marry any of my Mormon friend's daughters, unless I am single and they are over eighteen years of age.
21- I promise that I won't hide a whoopee cushion under the Relief Society President's chair.
22- I promise that I won't put beer, porn mags or a live, wild squirrel into the missionaries' apartment. The missionaries in my area keep their door unlocked and I have actually considered doing this, but I'm too nice, or too wimpy, to actually do it. Maybe if Mike Norton ever comes to visit...
23- I promise not to surreptitiously dump bubble bath soap into the baptism font prior to a baptismal service.
If you have any similar resolutions, please share them.